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Garden Chores for April


Don't miss BCTV's April Garden Chores video!

Photo of a Blue Jay sitting on a tree limb.Lawns:

  • Consider aerating the lawn with a core aerator as early as possible. This will allow spring rains to soak into the ground more readily.
  • DO NOT fertilize cool season lawns (fescue and bluegrass). Nitrogen applied this late is an invitation for brown patch fungus disease in June.
  • Maintain mowing height for fescue lawns at 3 to 3 ½ inches.
  • This is a good time to hit broadleaf weeds, such as clover and dandelions, with a spot spray of a selective herbicide such as 2, 4-D, Trimec, 33 Plus or similar products.

Ornamentals:

  • Apply a fresh layer of mulch to landscape beds before summer weeds germinate. Pull the winter weeds first. Only add enough mulch so that the total depth of mulch is no more than 4 inches.
  • Try planting those spent Easter lilies in the garden. Keep them indoors until May, and then plant them about 5 inches deep in a sunny location. They probably will not bloom again this year, but should be back next summer.
  • Let the foliage of the spring bulbs die most of the way down before cutting the leaves. The bulb needs to absorb that energy for next spring.
  • As soon as spring blooming shrubs have finished blooming, it’s time to prune if they have gotten too large.
  • Do not plant frost-tender flowers before May unless you will be able to cover them in case of frost.

Fruits:

  • Pull weeds in the strawberry bed and put straw mulch between the rows.
  • Fertilize fruit trees, blueberries, grape vines, and brambles.
  • Finish pruning brambles, grape vine and fruit trees.

Vegetables:

  • When the soil is not too wet to work, till or turn over the soil for May planting, incorporate lime and phosphate according to soil test recommendations.
  • When planning the vegetable garden, remember to rotate the location of plant families from year to year if possible.
  • Set out transplants for cool season crops such as cabbage, broccoli and lettuce. Make sure they are hardened off before planting into the garden.
  • You can still start transplants for warm season vegetables.
  • Begin “hardening off” warm season transplants a week or two before planting in early to mid-May.
  • Have row cover fabric handy if frost sensitive crops are planted before May.

Other:

  • The first hummingbirds arrive in our area between April 10 and 15. Get the hummingbird feeders cleaned and ready to go out.

For more information, call Buncombe County Cooperative Extension at 255-5522.